These days, the internet is full of advice about “self-care” and “treating yourself.” But not everyone can afford a spa day or a fancy new toy … at least without some serious debt involved.
So if you’re not a high roller, what can you do to treat yourself while staying on budget?
That’s a question a writer who goes by “theo_dx” asked on Reddit this week.
He described himself as a “broke university student” and said his main splurge is eating out on campus once every two weeks.
“I think at all ages it’s important to keep up a balance,” he said. “I’m curious to know what other people’s ‘treat yourself’ purchase is?”
Answers poured in.
The most popular one was from a commenter who goes by “iammaxhailme.”
His answer: doing nothing.
“It’s just staying home and allowing myself to neglect the s— I have to do for a day once in a while,” he said.
“I agree with this,” another user said. “‘Treat Yo Self’ for me is taking some time to forget about work and life and just play some Zelda or watch YouTube.”
Another commenter said she has a friend who has three kids, and for his birthday, he asked to do nothing. “As in, a day to himself, to sit at home.”
A user named “justamiddleagedsoul” said that’s his dream day, too, plus “a case of apple cider.”
(They’re not the only ones craving some “me time.” More people are dining and traveling alone, research shows.)
Not everyone’s dream was to embrace their inner sloth.
A user named “Chris_Moyn” said once a year he splurges on an item for his wife. This year, his present will be new countertops. And several commenters weighed in to say improving one’s home is actually a wise way to “treat yourself,” since it will likely pay off down the line.
A few other suggestions: subscribing to a community-supported agriculture (CSA) box, which delivers fruits and vegetables once a week.
Another: coffee and apple pies from McDonald’s MCD, -0.28% (although to be sure, that might not always be the healthiest splurge).
And a commenter named “MDPlayer1” said he subscribes to AMC A-List AMC, -4.01% , which costs $20 per month. “As a writer, I really love experiencing stories,” he said. The service allows members to see up to three movies every week.
Another commenter said their biggest splurge is owning a pet.
The commenters may be onto something with their cheap treats.
Researchers have found that higher salaries contribute to more happiness, but only to a point.
The ideal income for individuals, to reach peak life satisfaction, is $95,000. And for emotional well-being, the ideal salary range is $65,000 to $70,000.
There are even apps that allow people to rate their purchases, to decide which ones truly bring them joy, and which end up feeling like a waste.
So, what rates highly on your own “treat yourself” list? What simple pleasures did the Reddit commenters miss?
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